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Ebe
Sao Paulo

New York City

Is it a good idea to visit NYC in December?

I am a teacher but I dont have much time to travel..My vacation is in December. I am thinking to go Dec 08 and spend 15 days there.....

What can you say about my idea?

My budget is low and my style very simple...

Thanks for your help

Ebe


27 Answers

top answer by
Van from Maryland

I love visiting NYC in all seasons.  December is a real nice time to visit since the holiday window displays can be seen at the major department stores.  The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree should also be up and decorated.  The ice skating rinks are opened.  There is a delightful holiday market at Bryant Park with unique products for gifts.  Go see the Rockettes'  Christmas show if you wish.  Get tickets ahead of time.  This town is delightful around the Christmas holiday season.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  2. Bryant Park (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Ellen from Dallas

Ebe, December in NYC is magical! The Rockefeller Center Promenade has "the" tree with more lights than you can imagine. All of the stores - especially Saks Fifth Avenue - have moving windows that you only see in NYC. Even if you've seen a local Rockettes Christmas Show, the one at Radio City Music Hall is a lifetime experience (you can get great prices using a Metro subway pass). 

Most of all, the "up" vibe of the city - everywhere - is amazing and exciting. 

We are going to NYC at Thanksgiving this year -  (our kids want to see the Macy's Day Parade again, so we'll do it). But, to me, December is even better! Don't hesitate - it's magic!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rockefeller Center Promenade (attraction)
  2. Saks Fifth Avenue (attraction)
6 thanks


answered by
coco from Brooklyn (New York)

December is a decent time; it's more affordable than Spring or Fall but still not too cold; not that bone chilling cold we get starting Feb, I would say Feb is the cheapest time to come...Seems like a lot of tourist come for Xmas and check out the Rockefeller Plaza Xmas tree. There's something about the chill in the air and the vibrancy of the city that really emphasizes the feel of Christmas (in NYC)... just avoid staying in Times Square for the love of god!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rockefeller Plaza (attraction)
6 thanks


answered first by
Annemarie from New York City

Bom dia Ebe. December is a great time to visit New York, although a little crowded. It usually isn't too cold yet, and we don't typically have a lot of snow until January or February (although there have been instances of even October snow!) so you should be okay weather-wise. 

There are also holiday events to see, like Union Square Holiday MarketRockefeller Center Promenade Christmas tree, and the holiday food and shopping at Bryant Park

However, be aware that it's very crowded and so, like all major cities around holiday time, you can very long lines at attractions, and some petty crime. And since you are from a warm city, I'd remind you to bring a coat and boats, regardless. 

But, I'd be happy to trade places with you, as I spent last Christmas in Sao Paulo and loved a warm December! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Union Square Holiday Market (attraction)
  2. Rockefeller Center Promenade (attraction)
  3. Bryant Park (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Katie from Erie

If you don't mind the cold and can invest in a good winter coat and boots, NYC is fantastic in the winter. There aren't necessary as many outdoor festivals as in the spring, summer, and fall, but you can go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, maybe check out StubHub for cheap concert tickets or the TKTS booth for theatre tickets. Even walking around Central Park with roasted chestnuts and a hot chocolate is nice, and it's cheap too! :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  2. Central Park (attraction)
5 thanks


answered by
Rocio from Costa Rica

Hello Ebe. There is so much fun and things to do during Xmas season. I live in Costa Rica and I must tell you that NYC is  cold during this time of the year. However, you must visit Manhattan during the Xmas holidays. I did it back in 2009 and my daughter, friends and myself really enjoyed it. Since hotels rates are very highy during this time of the year, what I would suggest (and it is what I always do) is to stay a few days in a cheaper hotel in Newark (I take a flight directly to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and go straight to P-4 Newark-Liberty Airport Express Shuttle where the shuttle takes you(with no additional cost) to Wyndham Garden Hotel (or any other hotel).This hotel offers reasonable room rates, it is very clean and has also a nice restaurant. From here we take every morning the Newark AirTrain - Station P3 which takes you straight to Penn Station. This is less expensive than to stay every day in a $300-400/day hotel . I have taken the train back to the hotel at 1:00 am and I consider the train station is very safe. When I attend a show at the Broadway Theatre I spend the night at the Park Central Hotel as the shows end pretty late. I love this hotel as it is pretty close (walking distance) to many places that you must visit such as: Central Park West, Fifth Avenue, Times Square American Museum of Natural History, Bryant Park, Trump Tower Plaza among many others.  Just be sure to take with you a lot of sweaters, coats, woolen hats, globes, comfortable boots, and a lot of joy!!! Hope this helps!!!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) (attraction)
  2. Newark-Liberty Airport Express Shuttle (attraction)
  3. Wyndham Garden Hotel (attraction)
  4. Newark AirTrain - Station P3 (attraction)
  5. Penn Station (attraction)
  6. Broadway Theatre (attraction)
  7. Park Central Hotel (attraction)
  8. Central Park West (attraction)
  9. Fifth Avenue (attraction)
  10. Times Square (metro area)
  11. American Museum of Natural History (attraction)
  12. Bryant Park (attraction)
  13. Trump Tower Plaza (attraction)
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answered by
Kristina from Los Angeles

Yes! I went there a year ago 2 weeks before Christmas and it was lovely. It didn't snow (I wish it had) but it was freezing so make sure you pack warm/water resistant clothes & an umbrella. The city is decorated for Christmas and the store fronts are decorated over the top. The ice rink in Rockefeller Center is nice to see but I had fun skating in Central Park and it was also less crowded. A great steakhouse that I remember going to (who's cocktails and yorkshire pudding is sure to warm you up) is BLT Steak and if you like a good healthy meal Candle Cafe is fabulous. I would also recommend going to little Italy and Chinatown that time of year... they are nicely decorated as well. And if your there for Santa Con, its a kick! Enjoy!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  2. Central Park (attraction)
  3. BLT Steak (attraction)
  4. Candle Cafe (restaurant)
4 thanks


answered by
Matt from New York City

Ebe,

It depends a lot on what you're looking for. If you want the traditional NYC tourism scene, that is a good time to go: the city is filled with tourists in December who come to see Christmas decorations and to shop.

Hotels (and Airbnb housing) are probably harder to get that time of year than any other. People come to NYC in December for a reason: it's beautiful. But it'd be fair to also consider it very annoying: the huge crowds at the major tourist attractions (especially the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and Times Square) are pretty unbearable if you're a local or you don't consider yourself a touristy person.

No matter the time of year, I always encourage visitors to NYC to live more like a local than a tourist. 15 days is a good amount of time for New York. It takes a long time to truly get an appreciation for this city, so if you will seldom have this much time off from work and you're intent on visiting New York at some point in your life, I recommend doing it now. 

Matt


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  2. Times Square (metro area)
4 thanks


answered by
Albert

December is a great time to visit NYC. Macy's Herald SquareTimes SquareRockefeller Center with the lighting of the Christmas tree. With a low budget you can enjoy these things for free. The decorating of store fronts, Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes. If you budget is low for hotels, don't stay in NYC, stay in NJ and take the Path to NYC. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Macy's Herald Square (attraction)
  2. Times Square (metro area)
  3. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  4. Radio City Music Hall (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Doug from New York City

Very doable! Just be sure to have warm winter gear - which you could always buy here. The city can be crowded near Christmas-y sites, like Rockefeller Center, but its also very festive. Cozy restaurants and bars with fireplaces etc. And can be very romantic! Stay downtown and you won't have to travel far to go out.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
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answered by
Mayra

New York City is beautiful during the holiday season.. however very expensive :-/ Many people come to the city to shop and enjoy the city at this time making it one of NY's high seasons which means high hotel rates. If you do make the trip, I recommend visiting the holiday shops Union Square Park, viewing the Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller Center and enjoying the skating rinks located throughout the city such as Wollman Ice Skating Rink or Bryant Park Ice Skating/The Pond.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Union Square Park (attraction)
  2. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  3. Wollman Ice Skating Rink (attraction)
  4. Bryant Park Ice Skating/The Pond (attraction)
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answered by
Lisa from Lindenhurst, Ny

December is a great time to visit New York City. There are so many fun and festive things to do, even on a budget. You can explore the windows on 5th Avenue. Check out the tree in Rockefeller Center. If you want to ice skate, you can do so there or at Bryant Park. It's also fun to watch others do it too. If you can swing it, try to get tickets for the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Hope these suggestions help!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  2. Bryant Park (attraction)
  3. Radio City Music Hall (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Lidia from Barcelona, Spain

Yes! It's a good idea to visit it in December. I think everybody should visit in that season, but you have to decide it soon, because it's difficult to find acommodation. You can try Hotel 31.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hotel 31 (hotel)
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answered by
Nicole from New York City

Ebe,

December is a terrific time to come to New York City as there are so many beautiful holiday d8ecorations around the city. There are lot's of low-budget ways to have fun in New York City such as just wandering around and sight seeing. My favorite activity as a native New Yorker is to walk around with no destination and see what treasures I will bump into along the way. Rockefellar Center is a must see during the holidays with the tree and a short digital animation film on Saks Fifth Avenue. I also love the shops and ice skating ring in Bryant Park. The holiday windows are also always a treat.


3 thanks


answered by
Barbara from Cambridge (Massachusetts)

NYC is magical at Xmas. Get tickets to see the Rockettes' Xmas Show (buy them early as it is a popular show and you want good seats.)

There is a Brooklyn tour of homes decorated w/fabulous lights  and of course Rockefeller Center is decked out for the holidays. Can ice skate there or in Central Park. The stores along Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue etc have great Xmas decorations. Be sure to go to Macy's Dept Store as their windows are renowned. 

There usually are some Xmas themed shows on Broadway to put you in the spirit as well.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brooklyn (neighborhood)
  2. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  3. Madison Avenue (attraction)
  4. Fifth Avenue (attraction)
  5. Macy's (attraction)
  6. Broadway (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Kim from New York City

It will probably be a bit cold, but if you're okay with bundling up, there's still plenty you can do. One thing to note is that it's going to be pretty crowded being close to Christmas. On the other hand, you'll get to see lights and decorations around the city, if you like that kind of thing. If you are more specific about what kinds of things you like to do and what kind of food you like, I can try to recommend some specific places. 


3 thanks


answered by
Hunter from New York City

Sure, I don't see why not. New York is bright and magical during the holidays, though is also a bit more congested and pricey, since a lot of people come in to town for the holidays. You should be able to find accommodations at a reasonable price if you look outside of midtown in neighborhoods like Chinatown that are a little bit further off the beaten path, at least in terms of accommodation. The sooner you book, most likely the better prices you'll find.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Chinatown (attraction)
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answered by
Tanya from Ottawa

I visited late last November for three days just before Black Friday and for the most part the weather was cooperative though it was very windy in the evenings which made it feel colder than it really was. There was no snow and the days were sunny. 

If you have time to track pricing and do a little research, deals can be had. In the past two years, I've stayed at both the DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan - New York City and the W New York for around $150/night. Though if you are staying longer you might want to look into long-stay accommodations.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan - New York City (hotel)
  2. W New York (hotel)
3 thanks


answered by
Debbie from San Francisco

I would say that that depends on how much you like cold weather :P  Coming from San Francisco, where we don't really experience much weather change, I find New York very cold in the late fall through early spring time. 

As far as your travel dates go, expect lodging to be a bit more expensive towards the end of your stay as that's when the holidays are approaching.

That said, spending the holiday month in NYC could be very fun!  You can try seasonal and other winter weather foods (get some hot chocolate at City Bakery or L.A. Burdick Chocolate or hot toddies at Shoolbred's!), see the ice skating rink and Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, see all the Christmas store window displays on Fifth Avenue, feel all of the holiday festivities and spirit, and maybe even experience a little snow!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. City Bakery (restaurant)
  2. L.A. Burdick Chocolate (restaurant)
  3. Shoolbred's (attraction)
  4. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  5. Fifth Avenue (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Frank from Jericho, New York

Yes great time to visit Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center all decked out. Dress warm enjoy!!! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Fifth Avenue (attraction)
  2. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
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answered by
Peter from Bloomington (Indiana)

New York City works hard to be fun and exciting in December, which is the height of the Christmas shopping season. The streets and attractions can be crowded and hotels are expensive. I would advise you to go and enjoy the city, but not spend all 15 days there. See more of the eastern US -- there is a lot to enjoy in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Also, see areas of New York beyond Manhattan, such as Brooklyn.

If it is available to you in Brazil, try Airbnb.com as an alternative for lodging -- you stay in people's homes instead of hotels. It can be significantly less expensive and a nice way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

I don't know what you have in mind for entertainment, but on a teacher's budget, I would avoid Broadway shows, which are very expensive and, lately, not very original. There is plenty of other theater in New York in smaller locations. New York is a wonderful place for nightclubs and live music. The area south of Greenwich Village, called SoHo, is full of wonderful small art galleries and restaurants. But it all changes constantly, and there will be things to see in all parts of the city.

Do remember that December can be quite cold, so be prepared.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. New York City (city)
  2. Boston (city)
  3. Philadelphia (city)
  4. Washington, DC (city)
  5. Manhattan (region)
  6. Brooklyn (neighborhood)
  7. Greenwich Village (neighborhood)
  8. SoHo (neighborhood)
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answered by
Nina from New York City

NYC offers different experiences depending on different seasons. In December, expect a carnival type vibe. Christmas decorations start early December/post-thanksgiving so you would get to see the special Christmas displays outside stores. December and July are one of the busiest times so be aware of that if you are interested in doing the typical NYC touristy things. For accommodation, Airbnb might give you reasonable options. 


2 thanks


answered by
A.T. from Austin (Texas)

Definitely! New York City is amazing between mid-November and New Years.

Everything is decorated for the season and there is a vibe in the city.

Besides the Spring, it's my favorite time to be in NYC!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. New York City (city)
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answered by
Nina

It's always a good time to visit New York.Yes, December can be a cold, but chances are that you won't get snowed in anywhere that week, and the decorations are so beautiful that it's worth it. The great thing about visiting New York on a budget (unlike most other major US cities I've been to) is that you are really spoiled for options of things to do without having to spend a lot. There's some delicious cheap food. And check out Airbnb for lodging options - I stayed in the West Village and loved that area for its charm, affordability and great food options all around. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. West Village (neighborhood)
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answered by
Brew from Manhattan Beach

December is a great time to visit New York.  Manhattan is incredible during the holidays... between the Christmas decorations, holiday shopping, et.c, the entire city is alive.  


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answered by
Tania from New York City

Mmmm. New York in the winter if your budget is low is not the best, I must say. Right now, there are tons of free events happening outdoors that are so cool like the Bryant Park Summer Film Fest or Central Park SummerStage, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to explore Dumbo Waterfront (10 Jay Street),hanging out at Battery Park City  or Washington Square Park.


And when it gets too hot, you can go into one of our hundreds of museums, some of which ask for donations only.

There are still tons of things to do in the winter - after all, this is New York - but they will require you to spend more money since many may take place indoors. So keep this in mind. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bryant Park Summer Film Fest (attraction)
  2. Central Park SummerStage (attraction)
  3. Brooklyn Bridge (attraction)
  4. Dumbo Waterfront (10 Jay Street) (attraction)
  5. Battery Park City (attraction)
  6. Washington Square Park (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Antonio from Milan

Holiday season - it's cold but you'll get a taste of Christmas in NYC, which is awesome :)


2 thanks




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